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2010 ELECTION COVERAGE
Introducing the Centre Party

Introducing the Centre Party

Published: 10 Sep 2010 08:27 GMT+02:00
Updated: 10 Sep 2010 08:27 GMT+02:00

The Centre Party is one of the three smaller parties which make up the centre-right Alliance coalition that has been in government since 2006, having polled 7.9 percent in the 2006 general election.

Enterprise minister and vice-prime minister Maud Olofsson is the party leader. The party has a further three ministers - Minister for the Environment Andreas Carlgren, Minister of Communications Åsa Torstensson and Minister for Agriculture Eskil Erlandsson.

History and ideology

The Centre Party (Centerpartiet) describes itself as social liberal and maintains close ties to rural Sweden and environmental issues.

The party was founded in 1913 as the Farmers' League (Bondeförbundet) and spent its early years as the closest ally of the Social Democrats, forming a government coalition in 1951-57 as well as in the war years.

The party lead the government from 1976-1982 under Thorbjörn Fälldin and was part of the coalition during the crisis government and reform years under Carl Bildt between 1991 and 1994.

The party is now established as a classically liberal party and has since 2006 governed as part of the centre-right Alliance coalition. The party's focus has shifted from rural areas to the cities, and from farming to small business, and during the last election year in 2006 was the fastest growing party in Stockholm.

2010 election platform

Maud Olofsson dominates the Centre Party's election campaign which is focused on jobs, business, and the environment, and is being fought under the slogan ”The Alliance's green choice”.

Key points

*Reform of the act on Employment Protection (Lag om anställningsskydd – LAS)

*Invest in rail and road infrastructure

*Firm support for the system of deductions for household services (RUT)

*Has shifted in its anti-nuclear stance in return for investments in reneweables

*Cut payroll charges significantly – by 6.03 percentage points in a first step

Comment

The Centre Party, as one of the Alliance coalition's smaller parties, has struggled to gain exposure for its ideas and has suffered in the polls as a result. While several recent surveys have indicated that the Centre are not at immediate risk of falling below the four percent threshold for parliamentary seats, this remains a concern for the party.

To return to the election guide main page, click here.

Peter Vinthagen Simpson (news@thelocal.se)

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